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English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

William Shakespeare

135. One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Sonnet

TH’ EXPENSE of Spirit in a waste of shame

Is lust in action; and till action, lust

Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame,

Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust;

Enjoy’d no sooner but despisèd straight;

Past reason hunted; and, no sooner had,

Past reason hated, as a swallow’d bait

On purpose laid to make the taker mad:

Mad in pursuit, and in possession so;

A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe;

Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream.

All this the world well knows; yet none knows well

To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.